This show was the return to Houston, five years after the great '72 show, playing the Fertitta Center at U of Houston ('73 only saw an El Paso show and in '76 they didn't mess with Texas).
First Set. After a solid opener, Mississippi Half-Step pushes toward X Factor. Except for some flubbed verses it's great; also one of the longest versions. On the official release the first 12sec are patched with 11/5/77. There's a great segue into El Paso. The second half of Brown Eyed pulls back, but Minglewood is all action, peak to valley. Loser is also a standout. Donna is good and the solo is gemstone. Bizarrely, the official moves the left channel to mono for the first 2 seconds, just to omit a muted strum from Bobby. Sounds like Jer says "let's try something else, like Bionic Man!" Did he mean Six Million Dollar Man? But alas, it's a rather flat Passenger. Friend of the Devil however is absolute kush on a tray. Everybody is ON, although Keith's solo is a bit buried. On Me & My Uncle in '77, Bobby went back and forth from "lyin' there" to "dead ass". Here it's the former - maybe because you get arrested in Texas. There are so many good versions of Music Never Stopped in '77, that even though this is awesome it's not among the best of the tour.
Second Set. It takes a bit to get going, but when Jer takes off Bertha soars nonetheless. The next are a bit stumbly, with Candyman particularly sleepy (11/02 is the big one). Playin' has a nice breakdown section with some good Phil. The official version ends with a segue to another show, the fade out forgoing the last 20sec. The following few seem rote, into Wharf, where it suddenly goes technicolor. Then, Around & Around is a tempest version, with Jer meting molten movements onto the mountain. For the double encore, Brokedown is not the most un-sleepy, but Donna is good. The reboot Playin' though is a classic show-ender. The official release uses this as the bookend of a disc, just like the actual set, but artificially fills the middle with another show.
1st Set: B 2nd Set: C+
Overall = 3½ stars
New Minglewood Blues - all action
Loser - solo is faceted brilliance and Donna's good
Friend of the Devil - everybody is ON
Around & Around - tempest with molten movements
Playing in the Band - nice encore tag
SOURCES: The miller_110419 has fixed the dropouts and is complete, with good instrument separation (the beginning of ½-Step is clipped on all SBDs). The gorinsky_tetzeli_fix-6693 has more hall sound, less low end and separation, less distinct keys, less complete tunings. They are also two separate SBDs?! Three from each set are on Road Trips v1 #2, half of the six in unaltered form.
March 20, 2015 Subject:
another gr8 fall 77' show
love oct. 77'.this is why.
October 13, 2013 Subject:
Cool there is still a board or two available here on the archives. Pulling a show because half of one set is released as filler for ANOTHER show's release is a puzzler, but such is the band's management on such things.
ANYWAYS, yep, this one's as good as anything they played the previous spring. First set takes us through the topography of America as only the Dead could. Got to love that Playin' Reprise and Brokedown for the encore.
July 4, 2012 Subject:
Of course none of the other songs disappoint, but Friend of the devil in this set is absolutely spectacular.
June 30, 2011 Subject:
This friend of a devil is absolutely epic. Bertha is excellent, and the whole playin sequence is pretty good. Never really a fan of Around and Around though. <4.1 out of 5.>
Not sure why this AMAZING little item is available, but I suggest you GRAB IT WHILE YOU CAN!
Thanks again, Mr. Miller! If you snuck this one on, I salute you, sir. Your heart and your ears are in the right place!
November 15, 2010 Subject:
What a great show!!
The Music Never Stopped, Playin' in the Band, and Wharf Rat make this a 5 star show IMHO. CM...You are amazing. Many released shows don't sound this good. Thank you for this and all the many others.
October 28, 2010 Subject:
a nearly 6 minute Brokedown piqued my interest- some extra jamming, added lead break, spacey intro?
-Nyet, negative, nope. This sucker is half speed! Well maybe not half, but it's slow indeedy. Jerry plays a picture-perfect lead at the end, but besides that, if I had been there, I would have had trouble staying awake. SSSSLLLLOOOWWWWW.....
The Playin' reprise was a nifty little feature tacked on at the end, but I woulda been long gone!
Overall this show's average to above average for the era. Nice work on this matrix by the becoming-famous C.Miller elevates this one. Phil is a monster!
October 25, 2010 Subject:
beyond thank you